A Longing In Everything

B.T. Joythere is a longing

in everything

a longing in the stones

and a longing in the trees


within the apple’s sweetened pith:

there is a brownish clove of apple-seed

that, undisturbedly, sleeps

with its murmur of branches hissing

in the breezes of centuries to come

and we discern

early-morning hunger in this line of crows;

in the shuffle of wings; the hop and stagger

of talons on the cold station walls

driving in today

and round bales of hay had been spread

out beneath the roundness of the frost moon

a dark hawk circuited in the deadly white

of sea-harr drifting up from shore

and I thought I saw

pagodas soar in the crimson rent of daybreak:

their blue and purple roof-tiles curling

like aching fingers on the sky’s flushed palm

still the wings are whirling

and without a call the birds of prey

swoop and dive determinedly

through siftings of celestial light

moonlight and sunlight

light flush on water and crisp on hay

and all this without saying

what secret engine makes

each mechanism run

what makes the shadows

of blackbirds fleet

from the garret’s darkness?

what makes the crane

explore the water’s brink?

and I think if only

one thing from nature spoke

I would understand at once

what longs

and what can satisfy

what seeker’s hand reaches

for the moon; or for the sun

what light it is that cools;

and what light burns

like trees

that cover travellers

in a cloak of tender shade

like stones

that sing through the open air

in a crackle of ecstatic prayer

* * * * *

B.T. Joy is a Glaswegian poet currently living in Bridge of Weir; where he teaches High School English. He received a First Class Honours degree in Creative Writing and Film Studies in 2009 at London Metropolitan University and has, since then, had poetry published in Australian, Irish, American, British, Japanese and Hongkongese journals. He is also the author of two volumes of haiku In The Arms Of The Wind and The Reeds That Tilt The Sky, published in 2010 and 2011 respectively. His haiga have appeared with the World Haiku Association, Haiga Online and Daily Haiga. In 2012 he was awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Education by the University of Strathclyde as part of the last cohort to undergo teacher education at Jordanhill College.

Guest edited by Michael Fitzgerald-Clarke

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